The Heroic Tale of a Middle-aged Graduate Searcher Rising to the Top 1 - Aiming for the Fastest Dungeon Breakthrough with the Two Strongest Skills - 7 - Chapter 7
Chapter 7: Shout the Aftertaste
“So, you’ve defeated it? The 53rd level of the hierarchy’s main monster?”
“You’re a boy, aren’t you, Master?”
Hayato and Elina are at the city’s core medical center. After receiving the news of Victoria’s destruction, various A-ranked explorers rushed to the rescue, but the situation was already over and there were only dying explorers.
The emergency medical team was dispatched immediately and they were taken to a large hospital. Of course, Hayato was taken together with them.
His right arm was shattered. His skin was torn all over his body, and his blood pressure was constantly measuring abnormal values.
“Yes. I peeled it off. Please give me a moan.”
That’s what you’d expect from someone with cooking skills. With the fruit knife he brought with him, he peeled the apple in less than ten seconds.
“How is it? Is it good?
“The fruit tastes so good. ……. “Well, I like apples after all.”
“…… I don’t know how long Master hasn’t eaten apples, but they are delicious.”
As I was chewing on the taste of apples, the door to the room where Hayato was hospitalized opened.
“Hey! How are you doing?
“Shut up, Commander! “Hey, Hayato!
“Diesuke-san and Kuga-san!”
The two signs of Victoria came to visit him. Daisuke’s injury was completely healed, but Kuga’s injury was not healed by the Lv4 healing potion, and he was still hanging his right arm with a triangular bandage.
“The word on the street is that you’re the one. The one who defeated the monster that destroyed the attack clan Victoria was a D-ranked explorer. Here’s a souvenir.
Diesuke hands me an assortment of fruits. Hospital food doesn’t taste very good, so this kind of thing is a big help.
“Oh, hi. ……. Is that how it’s going to be? Well, it was featured on TV for sure.”
Yesterday, when I turned on the TV in my hospital room, the message “Mystery Seeker Saves Victoria! was on the screen. I was so embarrassed that I immediately turned it off.
It’s on the national news. You are quite famous, Mr. Hayato.”
Since Hayato has his own private room in the hospital room, there is a TV, but he rarely turns it on. He spends all day long talking with Hexa or Elina.
And since there is no internet, he doesn’t really feel how famous he has become.
“Who was that …… guy who came out of your room just now?”
“It seems to be the parents of one of the war maidens. They thanked me for saving their daughter.
“Ha-ha-ha. Well, I guess so. So, these souvenirs you have around you are ……”
Various gifts were placed around Hayato’s bed. Some of them were given to him by the parents of the members of the <<War Maidens, s>> mentioned earlier, and some of them were given to him by the members in the first place.
“Yes, well, they are related to that.
Yesterday, the president of the entertainment agency came to me and thanked me in person.
“It feels good, doesn’t it?”
Diesuke laughs and takes a seat. In contrast, Kuga sat quietly.
“Elina, can I have an apple, too?”
“Yes. Here you go.
Where did he get them from? Each apple had a toothpick stuck in it, and he offered them to Kuga and Diceke. Elina, what a good girl!
“Victoria would like to thank you too, is there anything you want?
“Anything you want?” ……. Well, I don’t really want anything right now.
What about money?
“Why do you always talk about money? ……. Don’t worry. I have enough.
Diesuke looks at me with suspicion.
But this time it’s true…the fruit I got from the 23rd level master monster. It was the world’s first item called <Skill Level Fruit>, a fruit that raises all skill levels of those who eat it by one level.
It was sold at a high price to the top rankers.
Hayato was overjoyed to receive 10.7 million yen.
In the first place, Hayato had no idea what it was, but he had received an electronic document marked <<$10,700,000,000>. Hexa and Saki were both quite excited.
Both Hexa and Saki were quite excited, talking about millionaires and billionaires, but Hayato was happy that he could sell the material for a higher price than the skill orb fruit.
Next, the furs dropped by the <<Bastardly Gyuto Ogre> were sold for 50 million yen.
It is said that just one piece of fur is bulletproof enough to withstand the energy of a tank gun. The Defense Minister’s organization bought it with a smile on their face. Saki later told me that they had approached Hayato with the expectation that they would charge more than five times the price.
As far as Hayato was concerned, 50 million and 10 million were both unrealistic, so he treated them the same. Hayato treated both 50 million and 10 million as the same because they were unrealistic. He did not want to read the complicated contract, so he quickly completed the settlement.
So, the total amount is about 60 million yen. Even if they will take a considerable amount of money for income tax next year, their pockets will still be tight! Hayato thinks, but he is unaware of the fact that there is more coming in.
“So you’re not worried about money, are you?”
“Hmmm, what would be good for you then?”
“You can come back again, boss.”
“I guess so.”
Saying that, Diesuke ignores the toothpick and bites into the apple with his bare hand.
Since Elina has already given it to you, why don’t you at least use the toothpick? …….
“Oh, yes. Hayato, you’ll probably be an A- or B-rank searcher next term.
“I have a friend in <<Japan Searchers Support Organization>> and I heard a rumor. I’ve heard rumors that the ranking will go up quite a bit. ……. It’s a rumor among JESO members that we might make it into the Guinness Book of Records.
“No! I don’t want to stand out!
What’s the matter, all of a sudden?
I’m in trouble if I stand out now! Do something about it! Mr. Diesuke!
“I don’t care what you say to me. ……. I don’t have the power to be pressured by the media.
“More importantly, why is it bad if I stand out? Mr. Hayato…
“I used my skills in public a month ago! I’m afraid that if I become famous, people might come back to me about it. ……
You’re an idiot, you know that?
“I didn’t know this was going to happen. ……”
I was going to kill myself at the time. …….
Suddenly, as if hearing Hayato’s cries, a door opens. A girl of the downer type enters through the door.
I’ll take care of it.
You have a ………… idea?
Yeah. We’ll just cut down any cop that comes along.
Why are you so hard-headed?
The hospital room was filled with laughter. It’s not funny because Shioli is serious. …….
She stood alone in the noisy bustle of the city. The sun has already set and the world is enveloped in artificial light. Countless people and cars pass by. She stares at a huge display on the sidewalk that was recently rezoned last year.
The display shows a popular idol group.
She is looking at the horrific incident that happened the other day. And the story of the searcher who solved it all by himself.
Most people don’t pay attention to such things. The information, saturated by the repetition of this morning’s TV news and the smartphone news, is out of reach for most of us.
But there was one skinny girl looking up at them.
<I was knocked out and don’t remember much, but it seems that a very strong searcher saved me>.
The information there is all unknown to her.
She had no phone and no electricity in her house, so she would not be able to access this information.
“That’s amazing. ……”
One of the idol group, a peach-haired idol who knew a little bit about his background, talked about the explorer, albeit lightly. He had been a searcher in a situation where he was struggling to make ends meet, and a completely unknown searcher had solved the case.
“I wish I had …… money too …….”
Sure, being an explorer is a lucrative job. But it is also a job that costs more than money.
If you only dream about it, that’s fine. But it is a tough job if you actually want to take it on.
“…… I can’t fight.”
And above all, it is a job that requires strength. It is not a world that a man with no money, no contacts, and no weapons can enter alone.
The girl knows this, and so she does the same today, faking her age to go to the restaurant where she works.
Special Edition: What Every Searcher Needs
After his injuries were completely healed, or rather healed completely by drinking a healing potion, Hayato underwent a thorough checkup just to be sure, and was given the <<OK>> to be released from the hospital. After a week of not moving his body, he was feeling slow and sluggish. I am a little worried about going back to the front line.
“Master, first of all, congratulations on your discharge.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Elina.
“No, no, no. That’s what I do!
Elina answered in a good mood and handed an envelope to Hayato.
<JESO> is printed on the bottom of the envelope, and on the front of the envelope is written in large letters.
“What does this read? Oyashin-gari?”
<<It’s “Oyashin”. What does it read? >>
“I’m not good at Kanji!”
<<You’re not good at anything>>
“That’s rude! I was good at P.E.!”
Hayato asked Elina as they exchanged some words.
“So, why are you giving this to me?”
“Well, only the master can open that. <<It says “<Exhibition>” on it, doesn’t it?
“Oh, that’s what ……. That’s what it means. ……”
I opened the envelope, trying not to forget the meaning of “<Oyaten>,” which I had never learned before. There were several sheets of paper in it, and Hayato took out the one on the front and looked through them.
“……Hey, you’re lying.”
“What’s wrong? What’s wrong, master?
“This is …….”
Elina took the paper from Hayato and looked it over quickly.
“Wow! You are going to be an A-ranked explorer next term? Congratulations!”
“…… is over.”
Hayato fell to his knees. Even just using his skills outside of the house would attract a lot of attention, but when you add rank advancement to the mix, it’s all over for him.
“You’re caught. ……. You’re caught……”
<<< Don’t be so pessimistic. You used [healing magic], right? It’s not that big of a deal.
“……”. Healing magic can be used to intentionally create cancer cells and such. ……”
That’s why only medical personnel authorized by the government are allowed to use healing skills outside the hospital.
“And in the process of healing, you can also mess with the senses, plastic surgery and so on, that skill …….”
<You know a lot about it.
“I once tried to make money with it ……”
<<<I thought you were trying to make loli big t**s? >>
“What do you think you’re doing with me?”
I remember when Saki-san told me not to do that because it would be a crime.
Hayato looked at the second sheet of paper, while giving a scolding to Hexa. There was a document that said “A rank explorer training” on it. The meeting time and venue were written simply.
“Ah ……. I have to take a training course to become an A-rank searcher. ……”
“A training course?”
“Yeah, there is a rule that A-rank searchers have to take an apprentice. Diesuke-san told me that we also have to watch a video about how to be an A-rank searcher.
“I see. I see.
Elina clapped her hands together as if she had just thought of something.
“Then, that’s what you need, isn’t it?”
It’s a smartphone!
No wonder Elina said that. After all, Hayato does not own a smartphone in this information society and even thinks he does not need one.
“You’re an idiot. I don’t need one. I don’t need a smartphone.
“Yes, I do! I absolutely need it! I’ll die without it!
If he had been a man of the past, he would have been whining about the fixed cost of his smartphone, but now he is not. Now he is a frontrunner. His monthly income exceeds at least 3 million yen. If he doesn’t buy now, when will he buy?
“I’m going to die. ……. But I can’t buy it because I don’t have a guarantor.
Hayato is right. He is only 16 years old. He is a very young minor, and he needs his guardian’s permission to buy a smartphone. But now he can’t contact his guardian. So he can’t buy a phone.
“I’ll be fine. I’ll take care of it.”
But Elina said it with a big smile on her face, so Hayato decided to believe her and didn’t pursue the matter too deeply.
Three days later, he regretted his decision.
“Why is he here at ……?”
Elina was ready to go buy! Hayato thought that he and Elina were going shopping together. Just as he was thinking that, he was greeted by a familiar face in front of the station.
“Of course. Hayato and I are bound by fate.
“I don’t get it. ……. There’s no such thing as fate when it comes to buying a cell phone,shiori …….”
The person in front of the station is Shiori Aihara, a high school girl searcher.
Seriously, give me a break. Why should I buy a phone with this guy?
“I’ll make my wallpaper a two-shot of you and Hayato. The first girl is non-negotiable.”
What wallpaper? Are you talking about the room?
Even Shiori is not amused by this.
<…… is amazing. Hayato wins on the insanity scale! >>
(What? (What? Did I just hear something weird?)
Before Hexa could reply to Hayato’s question, Elina pulled her hand away.
I’m not sure what to say, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find a good deal. It’s past our reservation time!”
“Ah, ah ……. Why are you still Shiori, anyway?”
I’m doing a commercial for this company.
I’ve never heard of it before.
“So I told her a little bit about Hayato’s background and asked her to …… sign him up for a phone.
He said he’d sign me up.
And he said, “Thank God.”
“But he told me not to say too much about it in public because it’s a legal gray area.”
I am grateful, but I wonder if that is the right thing to do. I wonder if it is okay to break the law so easily. Hayato is no longer sure what the rule of law is.
“By the way, there are many kinds of smartphones, aren’t there? Which one should I buy?”
“The same one as mine.”
Hayato frowned as Shiori answered in a second.
“Do I have a choice?”
“Because …… there are many kinds of smartphones.”
“Oh, yeah. I know that much.
“First of all, there are two main types: Android and iPhone. The latter is easy to understand because the same company has been producing them for a long time, but the former has so many companies producing them that it’s hard to check them all out. Hayato doesn’t have time to look at all of them.
“…… I see?”
Hayato, who has already lost track of the conversation about smartphones at this point, replies with an appropriate response.
“If you don’t know much like Hayato, it’s best to follow someone else’s lead. That way, you can ask them right away when you need help.”
“Oh, that’s …… for sure.”
I nodded my head, thinking that what Shioli was saying had more than a point. It’s a shame.
“So, if Hayato buys the same phone as mine, and if he has any problems, he can ask me at ……. This is a chance.”
A chance for me to talk to Hayato a lot.
That’s not a chance.
As Hayato was on his way to the phone store, listening to Shiori talk about how convenient it would be to buy the same phone, a girl with a familiar appearance approached him at the right or wrong moment.
The girl wearing a mask and a deep hood is the girl whom Hayato rescued from a pick-up and just recently rescued from a monster.
“Hayato…… and it’s not you, Aihara-san. What are you doing here? What are you doing here?
“Oh my God, Yui.”
What’s the matter with you?
Yui kicked Hayato lightly on the knee while saying that. I don’t remember this guy being this violent.
<<It’s called tsundere. It’s an expression of affection.
（Why would he kick him as an expression of affection?)
<It’s a way of saying that you want to do something naughty to the girl you like.
(I’m pretty sure that’s not true. ……)
Hayato replied with a nonchalant look on his face as he tsked at Hexa, so as not to let him know that he was doing so.
“I just went to buy a smartphone.”
“Oh, you’re buying a phone? What are you going to buy?
“The same as mine. A-phone.”
When Shiori said that, Yui let out a gasp of exasperation.
“What? Don’t get me started on apples. The time is mud…mud.”
Hayato tilted his head, to which Shiori quickly countered.
“An●loyd is difficult for Hayato. Maybe he won’t use his phone anymore. That’s dangerous.”
“Why not? He’s a boy, he likes to be able to customize it.”
“What? What? You can’t customize it?
Hayato doesn’t know much about smart phones, but the word <<customize>> is enough to draw him in. He was a boy, too.
“Yes, you can change the device according to what you want to do. That’s for you, isn’t it?
“No, I can’t. Hayato gets bored with that kind of thing halfway through.
“Why do you talk so much about Hayato? Have we ever been that involved?
“Hayato and I were partners when the dungeon was first built. So I know all his good points and bad points.”
“It’s been two years since the dungeon was built. I thought your tastes might have changed.”
…… So, why are these two fighting?
Hayato watches in horror. I feel like I’m going to get eaten if I make a comment here. Hayato’s many years of experience as an explorer was screaming at him to stay away from the situation.
“…… hasn’t changed. Don’t worry.”
“Why are you so proud of yourself? I’m working with Hayato now, but he’d probably be happier if he could play around with things on his own. He’s a boy, too.”
Shiori looks at Hayato as if she’s just been played. <<She looks at him as if to say, “Is it true what she’s saying? >>She looks at him as if she’s asking him if he’s right. Incidentally, what Shiori is saying and what Yui is saying seem to be correct, but they are slightly different.
Shiori and Hayato have fought together only a few times, mostly just stalking each other. It is also incorrect to say that they are buddies with Yui. To be precise, they have only been instant buddies.
While Hayato was thinking hard about how to explain this to the two, Yui interrupted him as if to kill the opportunity for an explanation.
“So, what are you going to do? ”So, what are you going to do? Which one are you going to buy?”
“The …… phone is better.”
The incredible pressure from the two men frightens Hayato. He still has no idea what to buy. So, he can’t take this kind of pressure. What should I do?
Hayato glanced at Elina in confusion, and she gave him a small smile.
“It’s all right, brother.
The sudden entrance of Elina attracts the attention of Shiori and Yui. Elina, who had the undivided attention of the three front line attackers, said as if she had been thinking about it from the beginning.
“We can make it a child phone.
“…… what is that?”
“It’s the kind of phone that elementary school kids have. It’s small and cute.”
“Why would I want one of those?”
“It has a GPS function, so I can tell where your brother is right away. And it’s sturdy enough for a child to wield. That’s why I recommend a child phone for your brother.”
Elina says such a crazy thing in a nonchalant manner that Shiori and Yui fall silent.
<Oh, I see. I see. So that’s how you settle the confusion. I’m learning a lot.
（Does this mean that Elina lied to me to settle the situation?)
<<No, Elina is serious.
(…… is even worse!)
But now Hayato’s allies are gone. As Elina’s eyes are on Hayato, Shioli and Yui’s eyes are on him as well. Without saying a word and under silent pressure from the three of them, Hayato escaped without incident with a hushed voice.
“I’m going to buy the best-selling phone in Japan, …….”
In the end, he ended up buying a-phone.
Hello! This is Cyclamen! I am very happy to announce that my novel “The Junior High School Graduate Searcher” has won the “HJ Novel Award 2020 Late Stage” and will be published! I have a lot to say about it. There are so many things I would like to say, but I’ll leave that for another time and give my acknowledgements first.
First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Tetsubuta for his illustrations. Thank you very much for your wonderful illustrations! When I saw the character design for the first time, it was so beautiful that my heart stopped. And to the editors who were willing to accept my sudden changes to the story. I think the quality of the work was enhanced because of that. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who worked on this book.
And to the readers who have picked up this book. A novel is only as good as the readers who read it. Thank you very much! If you enjoyed the book, please recommend it to your friends on social networking sites and around you!
See you in the second volume if possible! Bye-bye!
Electronic version purchase bonus SS<<Servant race challenging the dungeon! >>
“Hey, Elina. Can we not do this after all?”
“No! I’ll make it through!
The entrance to the labyrinth on the first level. Today, a holiday, many new searchers pass by Hayato and the others with faces full of motivation and enthusiasm.
“I’ll help you conquer the dungeon if you don’t have any friends!”
It all started a few days ago, when Hayato proudly told Elina that he had broken through to the fifth level, and she said, <<Wow! You’re the best! Did you conquer it all by yourself? Everyone else has cleared it with a party, but the master did it alone! >>She throws a high explosive bomb at Hayato while praising him, and when he takes a direct hit, he stiffens as soon as he swallows Elina’s words.
Elina realizes that she has made a mistake and hurriedly retracts it, but it is already too late. Hayato’s heart was pounded into his chest once again about the fact that he was a loner explorer with no friends or companions to share his quest with.
Perhaps feeling sorry for Hayato, Elina told him that she would take care of him in the dungeon as well. >>And so she said, “No, but I’ll take care of the dungeon.
“No, but dungeons are dangerous and ……. It’s better not to do anything dangerous …….”
But Hayato, who had heard that service members are not capable of fighting, looked somber.
<“Don’t be like that, Hayato. Elina is not going to budge once she starts talking like this. Besides, it’s not good to be too tense in your heart from all the front-line fighting. A good performance is a balance between tension and relaxation.
Hayato was worried about her, but Hexa let him off the hook,
“It’s okay! I may look like this, but I’m a high level monster. I won’t be defeated by a monster of the first level!”
Elina, full of enthusiasm, made two fists in front of her chest, and her aphorisms stood on end. Her hair stood on end.
Oh, that hair moves. …….
Hayato sighs deeply, and after confirming that there are no explorers around, he creates a small stabbing sword with his [Weapon Creation] skill and hands it to Elina.
“…… Well then, here, just in case.”
“What? Where did that come from?
“Don’t tell me.”
She said this simply because it was too much trouble to explain, but the sensible Elina did not go into Hayato’s skills,
She then began to swing the stabbing sword in her hand happily, but from the side, it looked very dangerous.
“……Elina. Look at your surroundings before you swing your weapon.
“Ai! Yes, sir!
With that, Elina glanced around and once again swung her stabbing sword in a dangerous manner. Is she okay? Well, she’s cute, so it’s okay.
<Hmm. You like this kind of thing? >>
“What are you talking about?”
<Simply talking about my interest. Don’t worry about it.
Leaving Hexa alone, Hayato turned to Elina.
“Okay, Elina. How does it feel to touch a weapon for the first time?”
“Oh, it’s heavier than I thought it would be. ……”
“It’s a piece of metal. It’s a piece of metal. It’s heavy.
“Does the master usually wield such a thing? It’s too much …….”
Elina lowered the tip of her stabbing sword to the ground and let out a deep sigh.
“What do you think? If you think it’s too heavy, should I not use it?”
“No, no! I’ll do it! I’ll be a good explorer!
Elina’s motivation to do so was evident in her response to Hayato’s question, and he nodded in agreement and began to walk with her through the first level. Elina followed behind.
The main monsters in the first level are slimes. Have you ever seen them?”
“I know it by knowledge! That translucent, shaggy thing, right?”
Yes. It looks like one of the pre-contracted servants.
What do you mean?
“What? No, they look like ……
What is the resemblance between the pre-contracted service members and the slime?
Hayato, who felt extraordinary pressure from Elina, fell silent for a moment and continued with a single word of apology, “…… sorry.
“…… slimes are said to be weak monsters, but they are also terrifying monsters that take advantage of the darkness of the dungeon to sneak up behind you and choke you to death.”
“Is that so? But the service tribe doesn’t do that.”
“They will die if you break the nucleus inside the ……. Quite a few people died before they realized that monsters can only be wounded by weapons that emerge from the dungeon.”
“Heh. ……. Oh, I didn’t know that. ……”
<But this guy swallowed that slime alive.
What are you doing?
“I’m trying to live. …… Here he comes.”
Hayato stops in his tracks, and a lone translucent slime sits in the middle of the dungeon. A nucleus floats in the center of its body, and destroying it is enough to kill it, making it the weakest monster in the dungeon. Every time Hayato sees it, he wonders what it would be like for a living creature to have its vital organs exposed.
“Okay, Elina. Let’s stab that nucleus with the thrusting sword!”
“What? I just heard a scary story about a slime!
All the monsters in the dungeon want to kill you. If you’re scared of slimes, you can’t be an explorer.
“Uh-uh. ……. I understand. ……”
Elina approached the slime with trepidation and thrust her stabbing sword toward the nucleus with all her might. However, the movement was too slow, and the weight of the sword pulled Elina’s body forward.
The slime took advantage of this and jumped up to choke Elina to death, and Hayato threw a dagger that pierced through the core of the slime. The slime popped with a snap, and with a slight delay, it turned into a black mist.
“Are you okay, Elina?”
“I was so scared!”
He asked softly as Elina turned to Hayato, half crying.
“Are you going home? I don’t need your help, I can do it alone. ……
I’ll do it again! I won’t leave you alone!”
Hayato had expected her to give up, but contrary to his expectations, Elina responded with a burst of energy.
“Okay, then the slime behind you is your next opponent.”
“What? Behind you?”
When Elina turned around with a blank look on her face, another slime appeared, and as soon as Elina’s face turned that way, it jumped at her with great force.
“Uhyah! I can’t, I can’t, I can’t! Master, help me!
Hayato gently catches Elina as she hugs him at the exact same speed as the slime leaps at him, and he calmly pierces through the slime’s core. After watching the magical core of slime fall out of the black mist, Hayato asked Elina in his arms.
“Are you leaving?”
Hayato asked her and she nodded silently.
“…… sorry, master.”
“No problem, don’t worry about it.”
Hayato gently patted her head to comfort the dejected Elina.
“…… I’ll support my master in what I’m good at, after all.”
“What am I good at?”
Household chores, finances, and other personal matters. I’ll take care of everything. But I can’t conquer dungeons. ……. But! I’ll support the master more than anyone else!”
“Thank you, Elina. Thank you.”
Elina gripped Hayato’s clothes in her trembling hands and did not let go of them until they had passed through the dungeon exit.